A SOFTWARE TOOL lets Apple Mac OS X users run Windows applications without having to use virtualisation, according to NES Software.
Winonx is based on Wine project code and enables users to run Windows applications on other operating systems such as Unix and Linux. Since Mac OS X is based on the Nextstep derivative of BSD Unix, apparently it wasn't too hard to port Wine to run on it.
Wine is freely available under the GNU Lesser General Public Licence, but NES Software has done all of the configuration and packaging work to deliver its capabilities in a tool that can be downloaded from Apple's Mac App Store and run on an Apple computer under Mac OS X.
NES Software claims that Winonx provides Apple fans with easy and affordable access to a wide variety of Windows applications, including business and productivity tools that are not available for Mac OS X.
The firm said that this offers an alternative to running virtualisation software, which is resource-heavy and requires Mac users to buy a Windows licence to run Microsoft's operating system in a virtual PC.
In contrast, WinOnX costs just $4.99 (£3.15) to download, which NES Software CEO Hisham El-Emam said makes it a compelling tool.
Linux users can snigger at Apple fanbois paying money for what's essentially free software, but then again, NES Software has packaged the Wine port to Mac OS X and it's only three quid, after all.
"For many, WinOnX is the only easy-to-use alternative to pricey Windows licences and virtualisation programs. And as our list of compatible Windows applications continues to expand, WinOnX becomes an increasingly attractive alternative for the average Mac user," El-Emam said.
Wine essentially works by intercepting Windows API calls and substituting them for those of the underlying operating system, making it similar to an emulator.
However, the Wine developers don't regard it as a Windows emulator and tend to bristle when it's described as one. Indeed, the name Wine is one of those recursive acronyms that programmers familiar with Lisp seem partial to using, standing for "Wine Is Not an Emulator".
Unlike virtualisation, Winonx does not guarantee compatibility with all Windows applications, just a selected but growing subset of them, and NES Software advises Mac users who require full Windows compatibility to take the virtualisation route.
A list of compatible applications is maintained on the Wine project web site. Winonx supports Apple Mac systems running OS X 10.6 or later. µ
Hold the front page
Bluesky's the limit
Might need to come up with a better name though
There's an app for *that*